A group of 12 people including lawyers, journalists, and activists have petitioned the Constitutional Court in Kampala with orders to nullify the Computer Misuse Act saying it offends citizens’ rights and freedoms of speech, expression, and practicing lawful professions.
The group was led by Alternative Digitalk Limited, an online media platform, which specialises in digital journalism for either live or pre-recorded programming.
According to the petition filed against the Attorney General of Uganda, the law criminalises receiving and sharing unsolicited information and spells out the punishment to be imprisonment for not less than 5 years.
The petitioners further question the procedure adopted by Parliament in passing the Computer Misuse Bill as no consultations with members of the public were done to know the adverse effects on human rights.
The petitioners contend that if the sole purpose of this law was to protect the rights of children, Uganda has enough laws in place to protect children and there is no need to come up with bad ones that restrict freedom of speech and expression.
The petitioners now seek to have the amended sections of the law annulled for purposes of protecting fundamental human rights.